John Burroughs (1837-1921) was an immensely popular writer during his lifetime. He traveled with John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt; he spent various afternoons with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Walt Whitman and hundreds of other well known people as he traveled across the States or when they visited his simple home and study overlooking the Hudson River. He was Whitman's first biographer, clear of Whitman's virtue and visions and unfaltering in his clear-minded praise. One might say he had, for many years, his pen on the pulse of the times. Now the times are different and Burroughs is too often forgotten, even though he was certainly a central force in America's conservation movement.
Still, we can, with with relaxed patience, one can experience his works as they breathe the fresh simplicities of life, especially his intimate milieu: the great outdoors, the flora and fauna, rocks, water, the air and sky —and man's place in the midst of it all.
His poetry can be grouped with his minor writings; he had clear insight into his own facility with poetry, to wit, the title page of BIRD AND BOUGH, his sole volume of verse, sports a self-deprecating epigraph from a line by John Bunyan: "Some said, John, print it; others said, Not so." All of his published poetry can be found in this collection, with the exception of "My Own Should Come To Me" and "Waiting." The latrer, frequently anthologized, was his best known, and liked and remains so today.
A PDF of the poem texts can be found as one of the episodes.
These poems were recorded at various times and in various places through the years. Recording qualities vary.
This is an on-going collection. Come back from time-to-time. See you at Slabsides!